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- To help plants retain moisture, spread a layer of organic mulch around them. This will save water, time and money.
- Your garden does not need to be watered daily. Check the soil moisture 2 to 3 inches below the surface, if the top 2 or 3 inches of soil are dry then it requires watering.
- Use drip irrigation system for shrubs and trees so that water goes straight to the roots, preventing run-off.
- Regularly check your sprinkler system valves for leaks.
- Houses that use sprinklers consume 35% more water than houses that don’t.
- Re-set the flow of your automatic sprinkler systems over the various seasons to suit the needs of plants and your lawn.
Put an automatic shut-off valve on the sprinkler system so that it shuts off when it rains.
- Water your plants at short intervals to help it soak up the moisture.
- Avoid growing plants in areas where it will be difficult to water them. Consider planting in spring, autumn or winter when requirement for watering is less.
- Place moisture readers in your garden to determine which plants or areas need to be watered.
- When watering your garden, use a kitchen timer to remind you when to stop.
- Ask your local nursery about plant selection and placement; certain plants require less water than others.
- Group plants that require similar amounts of water together, so that some plants are not over watered or others under watered.
- Don’t cut off lower branches on trees and shrubs. Allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This minimises evaporation and keeps the soil cooler.
- Aerate the soil in your garden at least once a year so to help it retain moisture.
- When mowing your lawn, don’t cut the grass shorter than 2.5 cm, so that it is protected from the blazing sun and reduces evaporation.
- Position sprinklers so that your lawn gets all the water, not your sidewalk, driveway or paved areas.
- Compost your yard trimmings. It helps to retain moisture in the soil so you will not need to water as much.
Remove weeds or dead plants from your garden; they unnecessarily take up water.
- You can use recycled sewage water to your lawn and plants. Call the municipality to obtain water for this use.
- Consider using garden lights or spotlights that run on solar energy.
- Water your garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are lower and help reduce evaporation. Recommended watering time is before 8am or after 6pm.